The Google AdWords Display URL suddenly & quietly became much more prominent. After a lifetime of banishment to the bottom row of search engine ads and listings, the display URL now proudly appears directly below the title. I did not see any news or press about it, but this is a pretty big change in the PPC landscape.
Now, more than ever, taking full advantage of the display URL at Google AdWords can be of tremendous value. It lets users know where they would be going if they click on the ads and also acts as a valuable advertising line. For example, a florist with the URL flowershop.com could use a display URL like www.flowershop.com/Free-Shipping. Any reputable PPC Management company should always try to maximize their clients’ ads’ effectiveness and taking advantage of the display URL should be part of that effort.
Furthermore, this new layout for ads is the same for both natural and paid listings. At Google, the paid ads, particularly the top ads, blend in fairly well with the natural listings. The new Google AdWords report that enables top vs. side segmentation often highlights significantly higher CTRs received by ads in those top positions. It certainly behooves Google to have users click on their paid listings, which may be part of the impetus behind these recent changes.
One concern I have heard about this strategy is regarding the creation of a display URL for a web page that does not really exist; The danger here is if someone were to copy the “invented” display URL into another browser and then receive an error message instead of the desired website. Though I am sure this is rare, I do suspect that it happens, which is why I suggest adding a simple piece of code to your website that will redirect users searching for any non-existing pages to your homepage. That is exactly what I did for our website at JumpFly.
Finally, the Google AdWords display URL stands out with its green font, drawing users’ eyes to it. This is not a line that should be neglected. If you didn’t already, it’s time to respect the Google AdWords display URL.